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Abstract

It has been claimed that photographs are transparent: we see through them; we literally see the photographed object through the photograph. Whether this claim is true depends on the way we conceive of seeing. There has been a controversy about whether localizing the perceived object in one's egocentric space is a necessary feature of seeing, as if it is, then photographs are unlikely to be transparent. I would like to propose and defend another, much weaker, necessary condition for seeing: I argue that it is necessary for seeing that there is at least one way for me to move such that if I were to move this way, my view of the perceived object would change continuously as I move. Since this condition is not satisfied in the case of seeing objects in photographs, photographs are not transparent.